Salsa Music and New York

Topics: Columbia University, Puerto Rico, Salsa music Pages: 2 (662 words) Published: December 7, 2013
Sample Expository / Explanatory Essay on Salsa Music

Strange as it may sound, salsa music is named after the Spanish word for hot sauce. This is probably because of the zesty taste of the condiment that can be found in the tunes and moves of the music, but the familiarity does not end there. Just like salsa (the condiment) is made from various vegetables, so is the music a mixture of many different kinds of Latin dance forms (such as rhumba, mambo, and chacha), other Puerto-Rican, Dominican, and Afro-Cuban music strains, jazz, and rock music. The main instruments used in salsa include percussions, keyboards, brass, and guitars. Most of the time, salsa music is also accompanied by dance. Salsa was made popular in the 1970s mostly by clubs in New York. Later on, in the 1980s, this style of music also became popular in areas such as Miami, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Columbia. (The Columbia Encyclopedia 2007). Since then, salsa has evolved vigorously through the years and has emerged as a very significant and dynamic component of popular music scene, especially for the social identity of the Latinos.

The music that came to be called salsa developed out of Cuban dance genres, especially the son, guararba, and rumba, that had evolved into a cohesive set of commercial popular styles by the 1920s. By the 1940s, these genres, promoted primarily by RCA Victor (which monopolized the record industry in Cuba), enjoyed considerable international appeal, and Latino communities outside of Cuba had come to play an important role in the evolution of Cuban music. Puerto Ricans, who had eagerly adopted Cuban music for decades (especially since the introduction of radio in 1922), had come to regard such genres as their own, generally at the expense of indigenous genres like plena and bomba. Meanwhile, since the 1920s, New York City had become the scene of a lively blending and competition of diverse grass-roots -- and commercialized -- Latin American music. Together with...


Cited: Manuel, Peter. (1991). “Latin Music in the United States: Salsa and the Mass Media,” Journal of Communication, 41, (1): 104.
The Columbia Encyclopedia. (2007). “Salsa,” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, New York: Columbia University Press
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